Until now, the only electric car capable of Go over a thousand miles on a single charge It has been the Mercedes Vision EQXX: it overcame that barrier both in its first attempt (1,008 kilometers) and in the second (1,202 kilometers). Now, an Australian vehicle wants to ‘compete’ it by showing that, with a 38 kWh battery, it can also achieve such autonomy.
Sunswift 7 is the electric and solar car, developed by a group of engineering students from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). On December 18, 2022, traveled, in 11 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds, 1,000 kilometers and to cover this distance he only needed one charge. In the absence of official confirmation, his would be the Guinness record, since the Mercedes Vision EQXX took a couple of days to complete the 1,202 kilometers.
Consumption: 3.8 kWh/100 km
The test took place at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) circuit located in Victoria. During the 240 laps he gave, the Sunswift 7 maintained a speed of 84.17 km/h and consumption was 3.8 kWh/100 km. Or what is the same: between four and six times less than a conventional electric car. The Dacia Spring, for example, is one of the most efficient models… and its consumption, according to the WLTP Cycle, is 12 kWh/100 km.
During the experiment, the Sunswift 7 only stopped to repair a punctured tire and to change drivers. It even stars in a moment of tension because each ‘pit-stop’ could not last more than fifteen minutes… and they had to solve a battery problem in 14 minutes and 52 seconds.
Sunswift Racing is not new to the world of electric and solar cars: has been working on them since 1996. The first was the Sunswift 1: it worked thanks to 7.88 square meters of solar panels and was capable of driving at a maximum speed of 70 km/h. The Sunswift 7 is, for now, his latest creation.
It is equipped with a battery that has a capacity of 38 kWh and with conventional photovoltaic panels. The key to its autonomy is its weight (500 kilos) and its aerodynamic design with which it achieves very low rolling and air resistance. Not in vain, has a drag coefficient of 0.095 Cx: that of the Mercedes Vision EQXX is 0.17 Cx and that of the Lightyear 0 is 0.175 Cx, while the Mercedes EQS has 0.20.
It will not go to production
One of the members of the project is Richard Hopkins, Sunswift Racing team principal and former Red Bull Racing chief operating officer with whom he won four F1 world championships. He himself reveals that the project has not been raised to produce and market the Sunswift 7. First of all, they have put efficiency above comfort, disregarding elements such as airbags, ABS, brakes… and it does not have windshield wipers either. or air conditioning.
To this we must add that “its cost is prohibitive, but we have shown that, if we want to, it is possible to make cars that are more efficient, more sustainable and more respectful of the environment”.